White Pepper Vs. Black Pepper | What’s The Difference Between The Two

Note- This post may contain affiliate links, we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs.

Black pepper is an important element in our kitchen. Just a pinch of it is enough to enhance the dish’s flavors. But have you ever heard about white pepper? Don’t worry; this article will tell you all about it and also about white pepper vs. black pepper.

white pepper and black pepper

White and black pepper come from the same plant. But both are different when it comes to processing. They are not only distinctive in appearance but also have their respective flavors.

Black pepper has a sharp taste, whereas white pepper is mild. Most of us are unaware of white pepper because it is quite expensive than black pepper. That’s why we find black pepper in our household.

If you are a lover of spicy food, just like me, black pepper best serves you. But if you want a little peppery touch, then white pepper is the one for you.

White Pepper Vs. Black Pepper | Difference Table

Before going ahead, let’s look at the table for a quick idea about the basic difference between white and black pepper.

Basis of Difference White Pepper Black Pepper
AppearanceRound and smooth white-colored peppercorns.Round but the little wrinkled appearance
Production ProcessWhite pepper is picked and processed after ripening.Black pepper is dried out when unripe.
Life Of ShelfWhite peppercorns last for 1-2 years, while they last for only several months when grounded.Black peppercorn lasts for 3-4 years and 1-2 years when grounded.
Price White pepper is a bit pricey.Black pepper is less expensive.
Types Of Food It works best with soups, mashed potatoes, and light dishes.It suits almost all dishes.
Health Benefits White pepper is best for digestive health and appetite, reduces blood pressure, and is heart friendly. Black pepper treats cough, and cold, is best for inflammation, controls blood sugar, and helps lose fat.
Taste And FlavorMild in taste but with a spicy flavr.Fragrant aroma and taste but is less spicy.

 What Is Black Pepper?

Black Pepper

As we all know, black pepper has a strong aroma and sharp peppery flavor. You must have heard that black pepper is recognized as “the king of spices.” It is because of its aromatic charm and spicy flavor.

 Black pepper is obtained from the berries of the Piper Nigrum plant. The process of obtaining black pepper is not that complex. You just have to pick the unripened berries from the plant and sun dry them.

 Eventually, the outer appearance of the black pepper becomes dark. You must have observed the wrinkles on the black peppercorns; these are the results of drying the berries. 

Black pepper has been known for its medicinal benefits since ancient times. The ancient Ayurveda used black pepper for making various medicines.

Black peppercorn has been cultivated in agricultural-based countries, mainly India and other subtropical regions. The African people also use black pepper for the manufacturing of sweet treats. They use it to make biscuits, bread, and pastries, giving that spicy touch

What Is White Pepper?

White Pepper

White pepper is also derived from the berries grown in the Piper Nigrum plant. In fact, white pepper comes from black pepper. So if you are a fan of black pepper, white pepper will be the perfect spice to choose from.

The process of obtaining white pepper is not an easy one, though. The berries are first picked when they ripen. After this, they are submerged in water for about 7-10 days and left for further fermentation. 

After fermenting, the berries of the Piper Nigrum plant lose their outer skin and release oils. Thus, after removing that black shell, we get the beautiful and flavorful white peppercorn.

White peppercorn also has nutritional value. This pepper is used to improve your appetite, boost digestion, and control, and it also serves best for the heart. 

White pepper is available in both peppercorns and grounded form. The peppercorn of white pepper lasts for 1-2 years, whereas the powder form of this spice lasts for only several months.

It is advisable to store white pepper in an airtight container and in dry areas. 

White Pepper Vs. Black Pepper | Difference Between The Two

white pepper and black pepper

Now let’s discuss in length the differences between these pepper siblings.

1. Appearance 

 The white pepper is round and white in color as the black outer shell is removed. It has a smooth and clear appearance.

At the same time, the black peppercorn is dried and wrinkled in appearance. Black pepper has an outer cover that is not present in white pepper.

2. Production Process

 The white and black peppercorns are obtained from the same plant. But the processing part of them is quite distinct. The white pepper is obtained from the ripened berries of the Piper Nigrum plant. 

The berries are first picked and then soaked in the water for fermentation. This is followed by the removal of the outer black shell. On the contrary, black peppercorn is obtained when the berries are unripened. The berries were then sun-dried. 

3. The Shelf Life 

White peppercorns last for 1-2 years, while they last for only several months when grounded. On the other hand, black peppercorns last for 3-4 years and, when grounded, last for a year.

Although I feel it’s important to mention, the taste of white is lost much earlier than black pepper.

4. Storage

It is advisable to store white pepper in an airtight container in dry and dark places. It starts to lose its flavor after 3 months.

You must store black pepper in a sealed container and close the lid immediately after use. It started to lose its flavor after 5-6 months.

5. Price

The white pepper is quite expensive as compared to the black one. This is because of the production process.

The manufacturing process of white pepper is quite complex and time-consuming and involves lots of steps. At the same time, the production process of black pepper is not that lengthy. 

6. Types Of Food

 If you are looking for just a sprinkle of spice that enhances your simple and light food, go for the white pepper. White pepper is suitable for seasoned soups and mashed potatoes.

White pepper is thus apt for Asian cuisine, including Vietnamese soups and pork dishes. On the other hand, black pepper serves best for meat dishes.

It actually goes with all kinds of food, whether it is soup, curries, or omelets. 

7. Taste And Flavor 

The flavor of white peppercorn, though spicy, is a bit mild. The taste of white pepper is sharper and clearer than the black peppercorn. But black pepper has a more aromatic and spicy flavor.

White Vs. Black Pepper | Which One Is Healthier?

Both peppercorns have their own benefits and advantages to the human body. They not only bestow us with spicy flavor but also have nutritional value.

As I mentioned earlier, peppercorns have been used since ancient times. Both peppercorns serve the below-mentioned benefits.

Health Benefits of White Pepper 

White Pepper
  • Better digestion – White pepper may help in better digestion by boosting acid production.
  • Great for reducing blood pressure – white pepper is an anti-inflammatory that helps to reduce blood pressure.
  • Better for the heart – As white pepper regulates blood flow, it helps prevent heart attacks and strokes.
  • Increases energy – white pepper promotes energy synthesis in mitochondria. It is the energy-generating component of the cell.
  • Manage arthritis – white pepper is well known for its properties to cure joint and spinal pain. White pepper has piperine. Piperine has anti-arthritis effects.
  • Bloating – white pepper promotes hydrochloric acid production in the stomach. This results in better digestion and reduces flatulence.

Health Benefits Of Black Pepper

black pepper
  • Helpful in treating respiratory diseases – Cough and cold can easily be cured by consuming black pepper.
  • Effective antioxidant – Inflammation is the key issue for many chronic diseases. The presence of the active compound piperine fights off inflammation effectively.
  • Helpful for the brain – Piperine in black pepper helps improve brain health, such as enhancing memory power.
  • Better for absorption – Black pepper helps increase the absorption of nutrients such as calcium, selenium, and other plant compounds.
  • Treats skin related issues – Black pepper protects from any skin pigmentation. It also serves best for acne.
  • Cancer fighting property – Black pepper has a compound called piperine. It also has antioxidants, carotenoids, and vitamin A that help to cure cancer.

So from all these health benefits, it is safe to deduce that black pepper is heavy on the health scale and white pepper, like its taste, is a bit light. 

White Pepper Vs. Black Pepper | Which One Is Expensive?

white pepper and black pepper

As I already said, the white peppercorn is much pricier than the black ones due to the lengthy process of obtaining them.

There are two different processes to remove the outer covering of berries. The first is the traditional method of picking the berries and dipping them into the water for fermentation.

The other one is to put the berries under running water for a long period. Then the outer shelf will automatically be ripped off. The latter is a good option as the product obtained is much cleaner and less time-consuming. 

Top Recipes To Make With Black Pepper

Let’s now learn about some top recipes that works wonders with black pepper.

1. Black Pepper Chicken Recipe

black pepper chicken

As this is the top list of recipes, how can we miss the delicious black pepper chicken recipe. This dish is simple to cook and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients.

The ingredients are easily available in your kitchen such as chicken, onions, garlic, ginger, lemon juice and black pepper.

In this dish, black pepper is used to marinated the chicken with lime juice and salt. When chicken is well cooked with all species and onions, add black pepper to enhance the taste.

After preparing, let the dish to cool down for about 15 minutes. Serve hot. This can be used as starter and main course.

2. Cheese Biscuits With Scallions And Black Pepper

cheese biscuit with black pepper with scallion

One of my favorite recipe of black pepper is the cheese biscuits. This recipe of cheese biscuits with scallions and black pepper serves 8 biscuits. These biscuits are the perfect combination of black pepper with scallions and butter.

For preparing this, make dough with flour, butter, baking powder and black pepper. after the preparation of dough, cut dough out into rounds.

Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool on the pan for a few minutes. The biscuits are best the day they are made, but you can store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

3. Black Pepper Parmesan Spaghetti

vegan pepper parmesan pasta

If you are a pasta lover, this black pepper recipe is best choice without costing you much. Black pepper adds peppery taste to parmesan spaghetti with garlic.

The aroma of black pepper with garlic is best combination. This recipe is creamy, simple and can be ready in 20 minutes.

This recipe is suitable to serve 2 – 4 persons. It is best to serve this dish with fine chopped parsley and additional parmesan. Black pepper with spaghetti works wonders to serve your guests and makes for a great dinner time meal.

4. Black Pepper Beef Udon

black pepper beef udon

Next best pepper recipe on our list is black pepper beef udon. Beef with black pepper sauce, onions, peppers, and udon might seem like a simple recipe but is actually a luxurious one. Black pepper beef tastes great with sauces and udon.

Black pepper adds the spicy hot flavor to this dish. It requires two tablespoons of black pepper which mellows into sauce.

This recipe has enough sauce to coat the steak but if you are fond of sauce, you can add water to make it thinner. It is very hearty and if you love spice, this is sure to become your favorite.

5. Black Pepper Tofu Pot

black pepper tofu pot

Another great gem from the “Black Pepper Recipe” archives. Freshly grounded black pepper makes this recipe a signature one. For this recipe, soya sauce, tofu , cucumber, black pepper are required. You can easily make the black pepper tofu pot at home.

It can be prepared in 20-25 minutes. Firstly, cover the tofu with cornflour and fry it. Add sauces like soya sauce and maple syrup. Avoid caramelising the sauce as syrup might. To enhance the flavors, you can serve it with rice, broccoli and cucumber.

Top Recipes To Make With White Pepper

let’s now learn about some top recipes that works wonders with white pepper.

1. Smoked Tea Gravlax

smoked tea gravlax

If you are looking for classic Northern dish so mouthwatering, smoked tea gravlax must be in your list. This recipe is the perfect example of blend of white pepper with salmon. This is a simple dish and can be last for 5 days in fridge and 2-3 months in freezer.

It has mild flavor given from the infusion of smoked tea and white pepper. It has sweet aroma and serves as a perfect Christmas appetizer. It can be prepared within 10-15 minutes.

2. White Pepper Lemon Soup

Lemon Coriander Soup

White pepper with the citrus flavor is the best recipe to lighten your mood. This recipe of white pepper lemon soup serves 6 people.

You can prepare this recipe just in 25 – 30 minutes. If you are a vegetarian or non vegetarian, this recipe works best for both. For this recipe, In a soup pot, mix broth, lemon juice, onion, carrot, celery, and bouillon for 20 minutes.

Then gradually whisk in the ghee and flour for 10 minutes, stir frequently. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color, about 2 minutes.

Add 1 cup of the hot soup to the egg yolks, a little at a time, to bring the eggs up to temperature without turning them into scrambled eggs. Add the rice, chicken, and ground white peppercorns. Pour hot soup into bowls and garnish with lemon slices.

3. Spinach Rice

spinach rice

This recipe has countless versions throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkish, Arborio or parboiled rice are suitable for this recipe. Frozen spinach could work should fresh be unavailable. You can cook this in 30-35 minutes.

A tablespoon of white pepper adds flavor to this recipe. After preparing this recipe, keep it aside for 10-15 minutes. Garnish with the remaining spinach leaves and feta before serving.

4. Hollandaise Sauce

hollandaise sauce

The hollandaise sauce is another recipe that makes wonders when mixes with white pepper. This hollandaise sauce recipe is a standard one.

Make it just before serving the dish. The preparation time for this recipe is just 5 minutes. You can prepare it within 15 minutes.

This is suitable to serves 6 people. This was so easy and delicious. It made your dinner very fancy, and serves best to your guests. It was surprising how simple and tasty this turned out.

5. Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken

popcorn chicken

The Taiwanese popcorn chicken with white pepper is one of my favorite. This chinses dish with white pepper, ginger and soya sauce flavors the crispy batter. You can prepare this recipe in under 30 minutes and is suitable to serve 4 people.

Combine chicken pieces with soya sauce, ginger, vinegar and white pepper. Let it marinate for 10 minutes. Fry chicken until its golden brown. 

Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining chicken. Serve chicken sprinkled with basil leaves, green onions, white pepper, and salt.

Can We Substitute White Pepper For Black Pepper?

Black Pepper

Well, this question will be in your mind since the beginning of the article. I know some of you must be on the yes side, and the rest would be on the other.

Relax, let me help you. So, the answer would be yes. You can substitute white pepper for black pepper. 

When you are cooking and need a pinch of pepper in your dish, only then can you use white pepper instead of black. 

But when it comes to serving a dish in which pepper is the star ingredient, then you can’t compromise. White peppercorns are meant for light dishes and soups.

They are used after the cooking to add extra flavor. They add spice to your dish without overshadowing it.

On the other hand, black pepper is a bit spicy and is used even before the dishes. Black pepper is much hotter than white one. 

White Vs. Black Pepper | Which One Is More Versatile?

Black pepper is more versatile than white pepper. White pepper is suitable for only light dishes such as soups and mashed potatoes or for seafood dishes. White pepper is mild in flavor while black pepper has strong peppery taste and strong aroma.

On the other hand, black pepper is suitable for almost all the dishes, from soups curries to omelets. Black pepper is suitable for chicken dishes as well as light soups. Black pepper blends with all the sauces and creams.

White Vs. Black Pepper | Which One Is Better?

Both white and black pepper have different properties. White pepper is suitable for light peppery touch but is a bit expensive. Black pepper is easily available in your kitchen and has a sharp peppery taste and aromatic charm. It is quite economical. 

In my opinion, as I have great admiration for spicy food, black pepper serves best. Not only this, they have other benefits too. The process of making black pepper is not as complex as white one.

It is also the best option for your pockets as it is not expensive as white pepper. It is available in both grounded and peppercorn form. Black pepper is good for storing and retaining it for a long period.


I hope all your doubts about white and black pepper are cleared now. If I have missed something, let me know in the comments. All kinds of opinions are welcomed. I’ll see you another time. Until then, you keep discovering new things to read on our website. Thanks for reading, and take care!

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs)

Q1. Which one is better: white or black pepper?

Both are used for different purposes. White pepper is suitable for light dishes such as mashed potatoes and soups. Black pepper is suitable for all dishes, from soups to omelets. 

Q2. Why is white pepper more expensive?

White pepper is more expensive than black pepper because of the picking and processing process.

Q3. Can we substitute white pepper with black pepper?

Yes, you can swap white pepper with black one for less quantity where you want to give a peppery flavor.

Q4. Is white pepper healthier than black pepper?

Both give various health benefits. However, excess black pepper can cause a burning taste and upset your stomach.

Q5. What are the side effects of black pepper?

Black pepper doesn’t have many serious side effects. But excess of it may cause burning sensations and upset your stomach. Also, keep it out of reach from your eyes.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *